Can You Put Non-Run-Flat Tires on Run-Flat Wheels?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Many drivers are uncertain whether they can put non-run-flat tires on wheels that originally came with run-flat tires. The short answer: yes.

Run-flat tires and regular tires that are the same numeric size will have the same physical dimensions, and can fit properly on the same wheels. The only difference with run-flat wheels is they usually have an extra hump behind the bead seat. This hump would help keep the run-flat tire in its proper place on the wheel while driving without air pressure. It does not affect the performance or compatibility of the non-run-flat tire.

A few words of caution: If you are changing to non-run-flat tires from run-flat tires, make sure you have a plan for what you will do in the event that you do have a flat tire. An air compressor and sealant can easily seal a minor puncture. A plug kit can also be useful for a temporary repair. You should have some sort of roadside assistance that you can call if you have a larger puncture. Some cars may have space to store a spare tire, though some cars with run-flats do not have any convenient location for the tire.

If a spare tire is an option, remember that you should maneuver more cautiously when your vehicle is equipped with a Temporary/Compact Spare tire and three standard tires. Any differences in tire traction can reduce vehicle handling and increase braking distances, especially in emergency situations.

Whether you're looking for a set of non-run-flat or run-flat tires, shop by vehicle and view all options available for your application.

Low Dust Brake Pad Options

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Does your vehicle have squeaking brakes or pads that produce too much dust? You may want to consider a move to a ceramic pad. Ceramic pads leave a lighter trail of dust than traditional pads with a higher metallic content and are typically very quiet. While ceramic pads do not have the necessary heat range to be used effectively in a track environment, they are still appropriate for some spirited drivers.

Ceramic pads meet or exceed all Original Equipment standards for durability, stopping distance and noise. According to durability tests, ceramic compounds extend brake life compared to most other semi-metallic and organic materials and outlast other premium pad materials by a significant margin - with no sacrifice in noise control, pad life or braking performance.

As mentioned earlier, another characteristic that makes ceramic pads attractive is the absence of noticeable dust. All brake pads produce dust as they wear. The ingredients in ceramic compounds produce a light-colored dust that is much less noticeable and less likely to stick to your vehicle's wheels. Consequently, wheels and tires maintain a cleaner appearance longer.

If you're considering a ceramic brake pad for your vehicle, take a look at the following options:

For more information on using a ceramic brake pad on your application, read "Why Ceramic Brake Pads?"

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza G 019 Grid

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Bridgestone Potenza G 019 GridReviewer's Overall Rating: 8.8

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Wagon
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Chicago, IL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
November 12, 2009

G 009's preceded these latest Bridgestones. So far, excellent in all aspects. Dry Handling, cornering and braking are excellent. Wet handling is phenomenal--We drove 6 hours in varying degrees of rain and never a question about control. In fact, the further we drove the more I realized how indiscernible wet and dry traction compared with each other. Slightly noisy when dry, but then again this is a very heavy car when measured against the footprint of the tire.



I'm looking forward to winter to test the snow performance. Considering the G 009's winter performance on this wagon with rear drive and traction control were near unstoppable, I'm expecting the G 019's should out do their predecessors.



More later!



We've experience none of the owner related problems the folks from MN with the Passat can't seem to get sorted.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Super Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 10
 
 

1995 BMW M3
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Miles driven on tires: 6,900
Location: Gettysburg, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 6,900 Miles on Tires
June 14, 2014

Absolutely the BEST Max Performance Summer tire! I have these tires on my 95 ///3, and they actually "transform" the handling of my ///3 to unlimited potential. The feeling whilst driving with these tires is that of a roller coaster. Meaning going around corners, exit/entrance off ramps, rides like my ///3 is "On Rails". Driving makes you want to go faster and these tires feel as if they have no speed limit. Braking is excellent in dry & wet. Driving sideways is must with these (only for the real drivers please :)). One of my favorite features of this Michelin Pilot SS (245/40-17)is that whenever my tires get "Armor All-ed" the shine pops and stays. In addition to; the usual handling (dry & wet), ride comfort, noise, tread-wear, gas mileage etc...the Michelin Pilot SS = Absolutely the BEST Max Performance Summer tire!!!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Precision Touring

Monday, July 21, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Firestone Precision Touring Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.45
 
 

2010 Chrysler Town and Country
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
April 30, 2014

My Mini Van is modified for my needs and is Wheel Chair accessible. Making it so, requires many modifications that effects many aspects adversely as well as driving dynamics. Traction in wet, ice & snow is a top concern for my needs and these tires performed very well for me. I live in Fayetteville AR and it's very hilly and since it does not snow a lot, when it does so the town is not well equipped to dell with it. We did get our fair share this past winter and I was very pleased on how these tires performed in fresh and untouched snow of 5 or more inch snow. It is holding well on tread wear and preforms well in rain and such. Noise and comfort are not my main concern since these are well compromised due to all the modifications, but these do as well if not better than what were the factory tires, I have a little over 40000 on the van and about 10000 on these tires. Predictable braking and handling perfomance and I'm not pushing it anyway, and the price was very good(-:

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus ST RH06

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Hankook Ventus ST RH06 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.12
 
 

2008 Infiniti FX35
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Miles driven on tires: 30,000
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 30,000 Miles on Tires
May 16, 2014

These tires have been great from the moment I had them installed. After 30,000 plus miles, they still have more than 50 percent tread. Wet road traction has diminished a bit since new, but is still very good; this is normal with performance tires in my experience. That said though, I can still corner with confidence on dry roads without braking. I'm not sure why they are only rated as summer tires because they got me through two winters and handled the snow much better than the seasons I replaced. They're still fairly quiet up to this point and also impressive is at how well these tires have stayed in balance. This will absolutely be on the top of my list when it's time for new tires.

Marketer Becomes Tire Tester

Monday, July 14, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

After three-and-a-half years on the job, I finally got the call I was waiting for: a chance to be a Tire Rack tire tester! Along with other members of the Tire Rack marketing team, this was OUR opportunity to get behind the wheel of our test BMWs and develop our own opinions on tire performance and truly understand what it takes to get our findings out to our customers.

Having already experienced the Real World Road Ride portion of our tests, I was prepared to look for a tires’ ride, noise and light handling qualities across a variety of conditions. The second part of testing, the Performance Test Track Drives, occurs on our track, and was what I had been waiting all these years to do.

We can see the track from our offices in marketing, we thought we knew what to expect, we were both nervous and excited. As one of our designers said, “I see our testers driving faster than I would want to go. The unfamiliarity of driving another’s car with someone else riding alongside me makes me uncomfortable.”

No worries. We weren't going to be competitive. (The photo at right proves we did take it pretty seriously though)

We got into the cars, we were told to drive at a level that made us comfortable. What made ALL of us comfortable was driving on the set of Michelin Pilot Super Sports. The tire allowed us to feel like we were in control of the car and have some fun behind the wheel as we slalomed a few cones, took some turns at speed and navigated the skid pad (And did I mention this was all done while our track's sprinkler system kept the course covered in water?). When it came to the Sumitomo Touring LS T tires we also tested, it was a completely different story. We were able to feel the vast difference in performance and gain a deeper respect for the testers out there all season doing what they do while listening to the car and the tires so they can accurately report on performances wins and losses.

Here's my rookie review of the two tires.

When driving on the Pilot Super Sports, I felt as if I could driver faster and take turns at speeds I typically don’t, as the tire gave me that much confidence. Now on the Sumitomo, I was braking much sooner to prepare for a turn. If I didn’t I would end up in the grass (even though I didn’t end up in the grass, I can’t say the same for some of my co-workers).

We didn't do a full test on the wet and dry course. And we're by no means expert testers like our sales specialists (who are our test drivers). But rest assured, you're in good hands when you're relying on the test results you read on the tires we offer. Our testers do this all season long and they've got my respect. And trust.

Here are our expert test results and more about our testing program.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

Monday, July 7, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.27
 
 

2010 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location: Marinette, WI
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
June 14, 2014

My Jetta Sportwagen came standard with 17" Conti ProContact tires. They were well used up by 50,000 miles. I liked the Conti tires due to good responsiveness and cornering/braking. The Contis were always quite poor in snow, but since I also have a 4x4 available, not a big issue.

The first thing I noticed with the Pirellis is the sudden quiet on the highway! It is difficult to quantify how much quieter the P7s are than those Contis, but the difference is almost shocking. The P7s are great on wet and dry roads and they still provide good feedback in corners. The P7s are obviously better in snow than my worn out tires, but better than the ProContacts ever were in snow. The P7s are NOT great in snow however, so don't think of that as a ringing endorsement. It's more of a "they don't absolutely ----." If you need snow tires, get snow tires people.

I love these P7s because of the quiet, smooth ride, great handling and feedback and somewhat improved snow performance. The P7s are just a better tire in every category in my mind. I thought the Contis were great until I got the P7s.

Continental TrueContact: Strong All-Season Performance and Longevity

Thursday, June 26, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Summer testing season is underway and one of our latest tests is quite promising for Continental's newest entry to the Standard Touring All-Season market. Tested against several of its competitors, the new Continental TrueContact posted the fastest lap times of the group in the wet and also featured the shortest stopping distances in our 60-0 mph braking test. Long known for good wet performance, Continental continues the trend with this new high mileage offering.

Coupled with strong wet performance, the TrueContact features mile warranties between 80,000 and 90,000 miles depending on speed rating. TrueContact tires use an all-season tread compound that features Continental's Tg-F Polymers and +Silane additives to improve treadwear, fuel efficiency and traction on slippery roads. The compound is molded into a symmetric design that provides continuous tread contact with the road to enhance steering response and handling while three wide circumferential grooves promote hydroplaning resistance and wet traction.

During our short time with the tire, it seemed to deliver on the goals of good road manners plus excellent wet traction. Take a look at "Continental TrueContact Introductory Drive" for a more complete look at this new potential class leader.

Is the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 Building a Lasting Legacy?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

This past weekend the sports world saw two champions add to their legacy. The new U.S. Open champion added another major title to his resume, and the San Antonio Spurs won their fifth N.B.A. title since 1999. There’s something to be said about consistently being on top – a place that’s familiar to the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2.

Since its premiere in our survey results back in February 2013, the tire has only known one spot: on top. It has been the top-ranked tire in the Ultra High Performance Summer category because it receives high marks in several areas: hydroplaning resistance, cornering stability and dry traction.

Honed by decades of BFGoodrich g-Force racing where success on the street begins with winning on the track, the tire is used by the Ford Racing High Performance Driving School at Miller Motorsports and Skip Barber Racing for their schools and race series. With racing technology successes incorporated into its design, the g-Force Sport COMP-2 delivers sharp steering response along with wet and dry grip without sacrificing treadwear.

“Accelerate faster. Corner harder. Brake shorter.” This bold statement from BFGoodrich was what we were to expect from the tire when we received it for testing back in July 2012. It definitely impressed! During our time with the tire, it delivered impressive traction, especially in the wet. We determined that it is a very capable Ultra High Performance Summer tire that was ranked first, as it beat out the Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport, Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 and Yokohama S. drive.

What will the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2’s legacy be when all is said and done? With 17 straight months in first place, it appears it will be go down as one of the best Ultra High Performance Summer tires.

When you buy a set of four BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 tires before July 12, you can receive a $70 MasterCard Reward Card.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

Friday, June 13, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.22
 
 

2010 Dodge Journey
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Saline, MI
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
June 11, 2014

The factory Kuhmo Solus KH16 tires were getting pretty close to done by 40k miles. As the Kuhmos were lousy performing and obviously didn't wear well, I was looking at the Goodyear Assurance. However, the Goodyears were considerably more expensive than the Kuhmos and didn't review even as well. Then I saw the P7 as new in this size, about the same price as the Kuhmos, and decided to give them a try. (The 800AA rated Conti TruContact was not yet available in my size but might be a good comparison, albeit more expensive.)

What an upgrade! The Journey is not exactly a handling machine, but the P7s made it feel like a totally different car. Far better dry, wet and snow traction, braking and handling, much quieter and gives a better ride. The only drawback was a drop in highway mileage of about 2-3 mpg, which was somewhat surpriasing given the EcoImpact rating of the P7. Probably due to the Kuhmo compound being rock hard - and as such, sacrificing pretty much all performance qualities for a better OEM mileage rating.

It remains to be seen how the P7s wear - but if they wear well, there is no question I would by these again. Highly recommended!

Kumho Ecsta PA31: All-Season Traction at a Great Price

Thursday, May 15, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

The Ecsta PA31 is Kumho's newest introduction to the High Performance All-Season performance category. It's also currently ranked number one in our survey results. Ecsta PA31 tires are typically at a price-point that's a little lower when compared to similar options. These tires would be a great choice for drivers of mid-level sports cars, sporty coupes and high-performance sedans, such as BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and others.

Designed to provide high performance handling in wet and dry conditions, the tire also delivers Kumho’s unparalleled combination of ride comfort, low noise and all-season traction, even in light snow.

 Kuhmo Ecsta PA31
Kuhmo Ecsta PA31
 Kuhmo Ecsta PA31
Kuhmo Ecsta PA31


Ecsta PA31 tires feature an advanced technology tread compound that blends high performance handling and all-season traction with long treadwear. Its compound is molded into a mildly directional tread design that promotes even wear, responsive steering, cornering stability and braking traction in all-season conditions. The directional tread design’s four circumferential and multiple cross grooves help expel water quickly to resist hydroplaning and improve wet weather traction.

If your drive demands a tire with a performance edge, quiet ride and all-season traction, and you're looking to get the most performance for your dollar, take a look at the Kumho Ecsta PA31!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Winter Maxx

Friday, May 2, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop Winter Maxx Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.36
 
 

2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L
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Miles driven on tires: 8,000
Location: Whitney Point, NY
Driving Condition: Easy Going
 

Initial Review, 8,000 Miles on Tires
April 20, 2014

I decided to buy winter tires just before the first forecast snow storm in my area. I live in upstate NY. The in-stock selection was low, the service manager suggested I try the Winter Maxx. I've never previously owned a set of Dunlop's, but with the only alternative available to me being the "house brand" I told the manager I'd take the Dunlops. I have not regretted that decision for a moment.

First off, the ride is very good for a snow tire with aggressive tread. Any decent snow tire is going to have some more noise and be bit rougher than all-seasons, but in the case of the Winter Maxx the drop-off in ride quality was very slight. If I was told I had to ride these all year I could handle it. Steering responsiveness takes the biggest hit, but is still within acceptable limits.

My usual commute to work takes me across two valleys before I get to the highway that takes me into town. That means I have to climb out of two valleys. Both of the hills I climb get brief sunlight so they are often snow covered for days following a storm. This is my first season without four wheel drive in many years. I was a little nervous that my VW Passat would not get me up the hills that I needed to climb in order to get to work. I'm happy to report that neither the Passat, nor the tires let me down. Not once during the winter did I fail to make the climb up the two hills, and for those who may not know, we had a very rough winter in upstate NY relative to recent years. Traction was very good and the car tracked extremely well. I would also mention that the second hill that I climb is particularly challenging as there is a sharp curve just prior to the steepest part which limits the approach speed. Braking performance was also very good as I have to go down the same hills in the evening that must climb in the morning.

Tread wear has been minimal so far. Tires were rotated twice during the winter and I'm fanatical about tire pressure. Worth every penny, would buy again.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Friday, May 2, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8
 
 

2014 Subaru Impreza WRX 5-Door
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Miles driven on tires: 6,711
Location: State College, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 6,711 Miles on Tires
April 20, 2014

This is a great tire, but not great for this car and my driving style. I sized this -1 (factory OEM is 17"), and in doing so created the majority of my "gripes" I have with this tire. The size I bought it in has been discontinued.

I have been using snows for the past 20 years, and I've tried Blizzaks, Generals, Firestones, Goodyears, Dunlops. I average around 7K a year driving in the winter on snows.

Good: The tire is an exceptional snow tire. Period. Snow to this tire is a traction additive. Deep snow, slush, light snow - not a problem. The tire hangs on very well when set on a singular course in the dry. Reasonably quiet. Stable under braking.

Bad: If you're a normal driver (commuter), *obey* the speed limit, etc. 95% of the bad won't apply to you. Because it is an exceptional snow tire, it leaves a lot to be desired in the dry. This tire is heavily siped so the tread-blocks are squishy. Full throttle acceleration isn't advised.

The web is full of comments of people complaining about the soft sidewalls, which I didn't heed. The sidewalls are *soft* and as a result I feel the tire compress over bumps before the car does. Somewhat unsettling if your car is stiffly sprung like the WRX is as you feel it "pogo" over transitions. Should you need to do a quick transition at highway speeds it is a sphincter clinching event. Just plan on hitting whatever you're trying to avoid if you're doing anything over 40 - the tires are easily overwhelmed.

Conclusion:

- A GREAT SNOW TIRE
- Very soft sidewalls - not intended for "sportier" or "firmly damped" cars.
- Surprisingly good tread wear - I wore off less than 2/32nds in 6711 miles of driving.
- These are not Blizzaks - on ice you're pretty much on your own unless you get studs. Given the price, I wasn't expecting them to match a Blizzak's performance.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeWinterContact

Friday, April 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeWinterContact Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8
 
 

2009 Mazda Mazda5
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location: Alameda, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
April 16, 2014

Living in Germany where snow tires are required during the winter months. I am running Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S tires the rest of the year. I can compare them to each other. The Michelin tires are by far the best tires I have ever put on any of my cars for warm or wet driving. But when it is cold (40 degrees or lower) or icy, the Conti's are mind-blowing. I am 45 years old and grew up driving in snow and ice covered steep, curvy mountain roads. The Conti winter tires brake and handle astonishingly well on snow and ice. They are superior to the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S in very cold temps on both wet and dry. They have two weak spots. First, when pushed hard in sustained turns, they fall off suddenly and dramatically, which is forgivable for winter tires that perform so well as intended. Second, at high speed in a strait line the car is very unsettled. It just won't track straight. My my oldest son eventually gets queazy.
This comes on at about 60mph and gets worse all the way to 'can't go any faster" mph. The Autobahn is smooth as freshly Zambonied ice and yet the exhausting high frequency instability is ever present. (tried rotating tires, no effect)
Bottom line:
Astonishingly good winter traction in cold dry, cold wet, snow covered and ice covered roads. If you travel at high speeds for long periods of time, maybe look at another tire.